Catax Solutions look at how grant funding is taking UK manufacturing to the next level

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Innovation is vital to the success of manufacturing businesses across the UK.  Investing in research and development not only enables organisations in this sector to save on time, money, and other resources, but it also helps to increase revenue and put businesses ahead of their competition. In fact, it has been suggested that the highest innovating companies in the industry grew almost four times as fast as those that aren’t creating any new products or services.

When looking to fund innovative projects, it can often be overwhelming with the different types of options available. In addition, some funding choices can be risky for manufacturing businesses and result in high-interest rates when having to repay the financing.

About R&D

R&D tax credits were introduced by the government in 2000 to incentivise innovation, and results in either a reduction in a limited company’s corporation tax bill or a cash lump sum.

Many firms don’t realise the world they do qualities as R&D, which is defined as any work that seeks to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty, whether that’s a new process, products or service. Crucially, R&D work does not need to have been successful to qualify and claims can be made up to two years beyond the end of the tax year in which the work took place.

Supporting future innovation with grants

Grant funding is an excellent way for businesses to receive backing without having to repay the investment. Every year, 100s of these schemes – typically backed by the government or other organisations – deliver millions of pounds into UK businesses, including those in the manufacturing sector.

The investment is rewarded to companies that are planning future innovative projects which are aimed at having a positive impact on the wider industry. Specifically for the manufacturing sector, this includes plans that help create the next generation of manufacturing and industry 4.0, such as:

  • Clean growth and energy/resource efficiency
  • Manufacturing made smarter
  • Sustainable growth in manufacturing
  • More efficient use of raw materials
  • Bringing ground-breaking and disruptive new products to market
  • Solving industry needs and challenges
  • Increasing SME competitiveness

Available funding for the manufacturing sector

One of the key incentives for the sector is The UKRI Manufacturing Made Smarter Programme which gives recipients a share of £147 million funding. The focus of the scheme is to deliver a resilient, flexible, more productive, and environmentally sustainable manufacturing industry in the UK.

Digitalisation of the sector is one of the main focuses of this grant call. It is looking to fund areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics, robotics and automation, as well as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and connectivity (5G, LPWAN etc.).

The EU’s Flagship programme Horizon Europe’s digital industry funding programme is another exciting example of funding available to the industry. Although the UK is no longer in the EU, UK companies are still able to benefit from this lucrative subsidy.

The Horizon Europe scheme has a budget of over €15 billion and looks to fund projects in areas such as manufacturing technologies, advanced materials and low carbon and clean industries. Other key challenges it aims to address include advances in computing and big data, circular industries as well as space (including earth observation).

Catax: Helping to Navigate the complicated landscape

Applying for grant funding can be a very complex and time-consuming process. Many businesses don’t have the extra money or resources it takes to spend researching and learning about the different options available to them. Not to mention, navigating the information they do find can be extremely complicated.

When looking for investment, it is always best to consult with an experienced specialist in order to give your application the best chance of success. As the competition for many programmes can be extremely strong, the experts will know exactly what evidence to include and know how to communicate your project’s information effectively.

At Catax, our dedicated team understands the grant sector inside out. Unlike other service providers, we work closely with you and your team to manage the whole process for you – from finding the right grant to writing and submitting the application. 

For more information visit catax.com

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